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It’s no secret that UMass has #1 dining: if not because of how good the food tastes, then because it is advertised everywhere. The food truly is delicious and there is a great variety. Even so, the options can get repetitive and even a little boring. Here are six hacks to spice up your next trip to the dining hall. 

Root Beer Float

This one is pretty simple and self-explanatory, but something I never thought to do! At any of the dining halls that serve soda, scoop some vanilla ice cream into a glass and then pour in root beer. You could even try this with other types of soda, like Sprite or Coke, if you really wanted to mix things up. 

Avocado Toast

There are two options to make avocado toast, depending on which dining hall you’re eating at. If you are at Worcester, then you can simply grab avocado from the salad bar and place it on top of a piece of toast. Unfortunately, most of the dining halls don’t serve avocados in the salad bar, so you can instead, ask for avocado slices from the sushi bar.

Caesar Salad Wrap

Caesar salad wraps are a classic that I would always crave when living on campus. To start, make a caesar salad at the salad bar: some lettuce, parmesan, a few croutons, and caesar dressing. If the dining hall is serving chicken in the grill section that day, you could throw some of that in there too. Then, bring the salad to the deli station and ask them to put the salad into a wrap. You can even get it panini pressed!

Breakfast Sandwich

To make a breakfast sandwich, toast a bagel or English muffin and then slap on whatever breakfast foods the dining hall is serving that morning. You can add eggs, bacon, sausage links, maybe some hash browns, and of course, ketchup.

Belgium Waffle

In the mood for dessert for breakfast or breakfast for dinner? Make yourself a Belgium waffle and scoop some vanilla ice cream on top! If you want to make yourself feel a little healthier about eating ice cream as a meal, add some fruit on there too. And if you’re feeling extra fun, you could make yourself Belgium waffle ice cream sandwiches. To do so, break the waffle into quarters and then place ice cream in between two pieces of waffle. 

Caramel Apples

In the spirit of the fall season, have some apples with caramel to go along with your meal! Grab an apple from any of the fruit baskets throughout the dining hall and attempt to cut it into slices using a butter knife (this has varying levels of success). Then, pour yourself some caramel from the ice cream station to dip your slices into. You could even make caramel apple nachos by pouring the caramel on top of the slices and adding on some M&Ms or chocolate chips. 

I hope you try out one of these DIY dining hall meals or it strikes inspiration to test out something else new! Happy dining :)

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Jillian Hughes

U Mass Amherst '23

Jillian is a junior at Umass Amherst majoring in biology and public health. She currently serves as the UMass chapter's treasurer. Her favorite things are traveling, chocolate chip cookies, and listening to podcasts on long walks.
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